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Software Project Secrets: Why Software Projects Fail
by George Stepanek

1 edition
September 2005
192 pages

Reviewed by Valentin Crettaz, September 2005
  (9 of 10)

How many times have you asked yourself what went wrong in your past software projects? How many times have you successfully managed to identify the key factors that made these projects derail? Have you noticed anything wrong at all? Have you asked yourself why software development projects are so difficult to manage and so hard to bring to successful completion?

To answer these questions, Stepanek first enumerates twelve fundamental facts (software is complex, change is inevitable, etc.) that make software development look so different than any other engineering fields. Secondly, the author lists ten wrong assumptions (scope can be completely defined, all developers are equivalent, etc.) that are often made by software project managers. Building on this, Stepanek analyzes three modern project management methodologies (Crystal, XP and RUP) and shows how they can be used for solving some of the identified issues as well as how they fail to address some of the problems. To cope with this, Stepanek delivers seven techniques to help you finish your projects on time and on budget. Finally, the author introduces a case study (made up of real facts) that demonstrates how things can usually go bad and how to make them go well.

If you have already found yourself helpless when answering any of the above questions, this book will definitely provide you with clear and definite answers as well as a couple useful techniques. Armed with that knowledge and your past experience, you will become a successful and highly respected project manager.

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